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I hope everyone had a great 4th! We had a nice, little barbecue at our house with some great friends, and it was perfect! We really loaded up on a lot of not so healthy goodies yesterday, so we’re cleaning up our act just a little bit today with these Giant Baked Cauliflower Arancini. That’s right, we’ve made a kinda, sorta ‘healthier for you’ version of arancini and then we made them huge…bc really big food is just as fun as really little food sometimes, you know?

These guys are also baked and not fried, so that along with the lack of carbs from the rice to cauliflower swap out, you should feel less guilty about adding things like cheese and more cheese to the mix. Balance! :) These guys make really great meals next to a simple side salad and although they may not crisp up as nicely when reheated, they still taste SO good and make exceptional leftovers! Enjoy! xx, Jenny

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Giant Baked Cauliflower Arancini

Makes 5

1 head cauliflower, cleaned and chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
10 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed and divided
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
2 1/2 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten

marinara sauce for serving

1. Preheat oven to 375˚F.
2. Place cauliflower pieces into a food processor and pulse until finely “riced”.
3. Place a skillet over medium heat and add oil.
4. Once skillet is hot add cauliflower and garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Transfer cauliflower mixture onto a clean piece of cheesecloth and squeeze as much liquid from the cauliflower as possible.
6. Transfer drained cauliflower to a mixing bowl and add Parmesan, cream cheese, egg yolks, and salt and pepper and stir until completely combined.
7. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
8. Remove mixture from refrigerator and take 2/3 cup of the mixture and slightly flatten into your palm. Add 2 ounces of cheese into the center and completely seal cheese in the center and roll cauliflower mixture into a ball. Set aside and repeat until all the mixture and cheese have been used.
9. In a shallow baking dish combine the panko breadcrumbs and melted butter until well combined. Set aside.
10. Dredge each cheese stuffed ball into the flour until completely coated, (shaking off any excess), followed by the beaten eggs and finally into the panko breadcrumbs.
11. Lightly season each coated cauliflower ball with salt and place onto a lightly greased baking sheet, about 1 inch apart.
12. Bake the arancini for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and cheese in the center of each ball has melted.
13. Remove from heat and serve with marinara sauce and more grated Parmesan, if desired. Serve.

  1. Liz S. Not Specified Not Specified

    Hi there, this looks delicious! I have a bag of frozen cauliflower rice in the freezer that i’ve been dying to use up. About how much do you think you made when you riced the 1 cauliflower head? More than 16 oz? Thanks!!

  2. Joanna Not Specified Not Specified

    Any thoughts on adding spinach into the filling? I love my arancini with spinach when I buy them. I’m so excited to try these!!

    • Jenny Park Not Specified Not Specified

      Yes, totally! I would just make sure to lightly sauté or steam the spinach first and then squeeze aaaallll the liquid from the spinach before incorporating it! :)

  3. Kara Not Specified Not Specified

    If you wanted to freeze these beauties when would be the best time?

  4. Shauna Solomon Not Specified Not Specified

    What a great recipe! Thanks for the post.

  5. Melanie Not Specified Not Specified

    Yes, this looks amazing! Is it possible to make these ahead of time and freeze on the baking sheet?

  6. Jen Not Specified Not Specified

    I made this last night and thought it was ok. My waistline loves the fact that they are baked but I think I might have preferred them fried. They didn’t really brown and the cheese was not completely melted despite leaving it in the oven for an extra 5-7 min. I made this with gluten free flour and gluten free panko ($12 to yield two cups). I threw out a LOT of the bread crumbs and flour as well. If going gf, I’d highly suggest you cut both of these back to one cup. It’s too expensive for what it is otherwise. I think the creativity here is amazing but I doubt I’d make again.

    • Jenny Park Not Specified Not Specified

      I would recommend using a light cooking spray to coat the breadcrumbs before baking, which will help them brown. Maybe less cheese would have helped them melt more evenly as well? I usually preferred my arancini fried too, lol. Thanks for trying this out, sorry it wasn’t a winner for you :)

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